I can't say it enough: Simple is better. I understand - you want to draw people in and set yourself apart with your cute slogans & creative descriptions, but what happens, is you really DO set yourself apart- just not in the way you wanted.
But why, Kelly? Because choosing cutesy over clarity doesn't create buyer confidence. In fact, many of your readers won't even understand what you can do to help them!
With SO much stinkin' information out there, people are overwhelmed! The best thing you can do for them is to create a website that is simple, easily navigable, & crystal clear.
So here are my 10 best features of a faith based online business website.
You want to make sure your website has a clear headline that speaks directly to your readers. It should tell them, right away, what you do to help them. You want to make sure you're speakin' directly to an area of their lives that they're strugglin' with. It should stir up some kind of emotion like fear or worry.
Now, before you start judging me and saying, "Well, Kelly, we're Christians and we're supposed to help people take their fear and turn it into a prayer. We should be giving them HOPE!"
Let me put it to you this way: If you were to have a toothache and go to the dentist and the dentist tells you, "You're going to need a root canal, but if you don't want one, it's okay"- you would think somethin' weird is goin' on with that dentist.
People have real fears and problems that need solutions. A good dentist would say, "I know this isn't the news you wanted, but you need a root canal. It's the only thing that's gonna to solve your toothache problem." Well, DUH!
The problem you solve for your reader may not be as serious as a root canal, but it's still necessary to speak to their fear and help them realize that this issue isn't going to change unless they make the choice to change it. We can't pray and then expect the Lord to do all the work. He expects us to take a step forward in faith. You are their step forward and you have to be able to articulate that to them in a way that is direct, clear, and emotionally driven.
Is the dentist mean? Of course not - he just wants to solve your problem and it may not feel too great, but it's what you need!!
So an example of this, might be:
This headline defines the reader, explicitly defines what she, as the business owner, does, & speaks to the readers' fear (that they'll either never learn how to breastfeed or that it will be a long journey they may not succeed in) by giving them some confidence that she can give them a solution quickly.
Here's another one:
This one seems so simple, but it doesn't take a genius to see that this is targeted toward law students who need help to pass their bar exam to officially become a lawyer.
Here's one more:
This one is based on an actual business. Check her out!
This is from Pretty Darn Cute and she words it a little differently so yes, there is still some creativity here, but you definitely know exactly what it is that she does -whether you're newbie or a seasoned online business owner. And she lets you know she makes it "simple". Move out of the way, tech fear!
So try it out! Can you sum up what you do in one line? How can you tweak it so that it speaks directly to your reader and to a fear they have?
It's important to make sure your readers know what to do when they land on your website! It sounds kinda stupid, right? How hard is it to read things and follow directions? Well, believe it or not, it can be really hard for people. They have enough to read! They're bombarded with stuff all day long, especially if they work outside the home.
So what the heck is a "Call to Action"? Well, it's like a stepping stone. Say there's a rushing river in front of you and you want to get across. Are you going to cross confidently if the water is moving so fast it threatens to knock you down and drag you downstream?
But, what if the river had some nice flat stepping stones and all you had to do is step on them to get across? Would you be more likely to cross?
Think of a call to action as a stepping stone! It's leading them on the journey with your brand. You have to tell people where to go next!
Like, have you downloaded my FREE Faith Based Business Launch Guide yet? If not, you're gonna fail.
But it is an awesome guide to help you launch your Christian business with Godfidence. ;)
You might be asking yourself, what is the stepping stone? Well, the stepping stone can be a link to a freebie you've created, a link to a Facebook group, or a link to another page on your website. You don't really want it to link to a sales page or a product yet because that's like telling a man your entire life story on the first date.
Woah, Nelly! Back it up a bit!
Above the fold means the place people see when they first come to your website without scrolling down. This is prime real estate, just like the front page of a newspaper. The call to action you created needs to be placed here.
Do you paint the reader as the hero or yourself? Like a good movie, every hero has a guide who helps them navigate the treacherous path the hero is on. That's you. You want to help your reader envision themselves as the hero of their story who can overcome with your help to guide them. This should come out in your copy. You. YOU. YoU. yOU. you. Sprinkle YOU's around like confetti.
Am I the only one who has visited a website that's about as easy to navigate as an American in an Asian market? You hit the red X to close that sucker out with confusion and are only left feeling frustrated for not being able to find what you were looking for.
You want to make sure that the navigation on the top of your website is clear and not too cutesy. Again, cutesy is only going to lead to confusion and the last thing we need are a bunch of confused and frustrated customers!
Does your website share a story that paints your readers' lives with and without your help? It's hard for people to voice what is going on in their minds. Sometimes, it takes someone else giving a voice to a problem, that makes people take action.
If you want your site to look professional, you must invest in some professional images. That doesn't mean all your images used everywhere need to be taken by a professional, but your head shots and photos used in products should be. Professional doesn't mean you have to wear heels and a fancy dress or suit. Professional just means the quality of the images is good. When it comes to having pictures taken, definitely stick to your brand. If you want to convey a relaxing feel, make that show in your images. If you're going for a more professional feel, make sure your outfits and location reflect that.
You always want to give people a lot of value when they come to your website. That could be a free download, social media link, a free call, a percentage off their first purchase, or some kind of other goodie that gets them closer to their goal.
Testimonials are important to help build trust with your reader. Including them on your website is a great way to showcase your strengths without having to toot your own horn. People love to hear about other peoples' experiences. It gives them buyer confidence!
Do your values shine through? I'm often asked how to merge faith and business and how a Christian business owner can share their faith without being pushy. The answer to this question really comes down to personal preference and what you feel the Lord is calling you to do. For some business owners, it's important for them to let their customer's know explicitly that they are Christians. That could be expressed through their logo, their tag line, or their about page. For others, this is expressed in their customer experience and products. That is, customers see something different in the business owner because of how they conduct business, how they carry themselves, the quality of the product they put out, and the customer's journey through a purchase with the brand.
The best way to show God's love is not in what you say, but in how you live your life.
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Through Mountains and Valleys,
Still looking for a business idea? Check out: Choosing a Profitable Faith Based Business Idea.